SciTech

briefs

Japanese police raid over bioweapons fear

Police in Japan have raided two firms on suspicion of illegally selling equipment to North Korea that could be used to make biological weapons. The Tokyo companies are suspected of exporting equipment in 2002 that could cultivate the germs used in such weapons. The two unnamed companies were reported to have sent their exports to North Korea via Taiwan. The companies are suspected of infringing  the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Control Law, under which exporters need to apply for a government license before selling such items abroad.

Source: BBC

Latest Mac OS warns hackers with poem

Apple Computer, Inc., has resorted to a poetic broadside in the inevitable cat-and-mouse game between hackers and high-tech companies. The maker of Macintosh computers had anticipated that hackers would try to crack its new OS X operating system built to work on Intel chips and run pirated versions on non-Apple computers. So, Apple developers embedded a warning deep in the software — in the form of a poem. A copy of it has been circulating on Mac-related Web sites this week.
Apple confirmed Thursday that it has included such a warning in its Intel-based computers since it started selling them in January. The embedded poem reads: “Your karma check for today: There once was a user that whined/his existing OS was so blind/he’d do better to pirate/an OS that ran great/but found his hardware declined./Please don’t steal Mac OS!/Really, that’s way uncool./(C) Apple Computer, Inc.” Apple also put a separate hidden message, “Don’t Steal Mac OS X.kext,” in another spot for would-be hackers.

Source: CNN

Mobile operators set sights on last frontier

A new generation of mobile networks, built out of boxes no bigger than microwave ovens, is extending the reach of traditional networks formed by base stations, satellites, and masts to places not worth the attention of big operators. At this week’s 3GSM wireless trade show in Barcelona, a crop of start-up and more established firms showed off technology that can be packed up and carried off to just about anywhere to connect hundreds of people at a time. Companies expanding into this niche but growing market include Israel-based Alvarion, better known for its WiMax broadband wireless technology.

Source: Reuters

China defends right to police Internet

China on Thursday defended its right to police the Internet, one day after the four American technology giants — Microsoft Corp.; Yahoo, Inc.; Cisco Systems, Inc.; and Google, Inc. — appeared before Congress on charges that they collaborated with Beijing to crush free speech online in return for market access. “It is normal for countries to manage the Internet in accordance with law and to guide its development in a healthy and orderly fashion,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said. “China has also borrowed and learned from the United States and other countries in the world.” While China encourages use of the Internet for business and education, it strictly monitors the Web and censors anything it considers critical of or a threat to the ruling Communist Party.

Source: Associated Press